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story.lead_photo.caption President Barack Obama is introduced by Jim McNerney, chief executive officer of The Boeing Co., before speaking about the "fiscal cliff" during an address before the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers, on Wednesday, Dec. 5,2012, in Washington. - Photo by AP/Charles Dharapak

— President Barack Obama warned Republicans on Wednesday against picking another fight over the nation’s debt ceiling, telling business leaders that it’s “not a game that I will play.”

Obama said in remarks to the Business Roundtable that he was aware of reports that Republicans may be willing to agree to higher tax rates on the wealthy as a way to avert the looming “fiscal cliff” and then come back next year with more leverage to extract spending cuts from the White House in exchange for raising the government’s borrowing limit.

“That is a bad strategy for America, it’s a bad strategy for your businesses, and it’s not a game that I will play,” Obama said, recalling the “catastrophe that happened in August of 2011.”

The president cited the prolonged and deeply partisan standoff over raising the U.S. debt limit last year that led the nation to the brink of default for the first time in its history.

If Congress and the White House don’t reach a budget deal, about $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and tax increases will automatically kick in starting Jan. 2, a scenario that’s been dubbed the “fiscal cliff” because it is likely to send the economy back into recession and drive up unemployment.

Meantime, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Republican leaders said Wednesday — prior to Obama’s remarks — that the White House had failed to offer a “balanced approach” that had a chance of clearing either chamber of Congress. “We can’t negotiate with ourselves,” Boehner said.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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  • lazybar
    December 6, 2012 at 11:51 a.m.

    pop while i and i think most of us agree its the middle that will suffer but i don`t think its dem vs rep its liberal vs conservitive.libs think by flooding the poor with money it will stop the poverty and the conservitives think by overtaxing the rich you will hurt the economy.
    as i inch closer to the 250k mark i notice that 250k is not what it used to be.when i started having kids 22 years ago 250k seemed like a millionaire with 60k being a above comfortable someone making 60k with 2 kids barely makes i personally live comfortable i would not mind paying higher taxes if i felt it was used wisely.i complain about giving money to the poor but i really don`t mind helping my fellow man that is if they really need the help.
    as far as raising the debt ceiling,why do we need to borrow more if we can`t pay what we owe now?

  • nwar
    December 6, 2012 at 12:17 p.m.

    lazybar - refusing to raise the debt ceiling is not being either conservative or responsible. If the ceiling is not raised, then the United States is welching on its debts already incurred. It would be like getting a huge mastercard bill in the mail and deciding to throw it in the trash rather than actually tightening your belt financially. Spending decisions were made prior to this point and that where they need to be contained -- during the appropriations process. But remember, when Republicans say they want to "reform entitlements," they are directly targeting Social Security, and Medicare, programs that many of us have been paying into our entire working lives. If you fall into this category, the GOP thinks you are also one of the "moochers."

  • Populist
    December 6, 2012 at 12:29 p.m.


    Some people are taking out more in ss and medicare than they paid in.


    The middle is getting squeezed by both the top and the bottom. If you think welfare is just for the poor, think again. Many of the megarich are power brokers, lobbyists, defense contractors, and builders who are expert at greasing palms in Washington and state capitals and getting big awards. There is as much corporate welfare for the rich as there are for the poor. The deficit was caused by too many people on the bottom AND on the top wanting handouts. The Democrats are beholden to the people on the bottom and the Republicans are slaves of the extreme wealthy, the polluters, energy industry, and the megarich. I'm afraid the "compromise" that the Democrats and Republicans intend is to place the entire brunt of the deficit on the backs of the upper middle class. We will pay an effective rate of 35% in taxes while the megarich get contracts, debt forgiveness, tax breaks, and effective rates of 14%.

  • lazybar
    December 6, 2012 at 1:49 p.m.

    nwar,people who never have paid in are drawing wife treated a 10yr old boy the otherday who gets draws a check for asthma.when ask where mother worked she was proud to inform my wife the check her son gets makes it to where she didn`t have to work so she could stay home and take care of her son.wife ask does he not go to school and mother said yes.boy was in er with a brokenarm from playing if he goes to school and is healthy enough to play football,why does he draw a check big enough that mom can stay home and guess who pays that medical bill?
    pop here is where we differ.if the business gets a break for making jobs happen i`m all for whatever break they get.even if its a lowpaying job.if someone is going to get paid is it not better to work for a little check than to just sit around eating drinking and making more babies for us to support?its not the fact of poor education because there are plenty of chances for everyone to get a education but more the fact of why work when i can sit at home making more if the person/business does not create jobs or something that benefits the nation then by all means they should be taxed like everyone else.

  • Populist
    December 6, 2012 at 4:04 p.m.


    I'm not against tax breaks for job creation. I just think there is a fair amount of graft in the whole process. Politicians will accept large contributions from specific industries and then give those industries preferential tax and regulatory treatment in exchange.

  • lazybar
    December 7, 2012 at 9:04 a.m.

    pop whats the differance the repubs being on the payroll of big business than the dems that are on the union payroll?atleast big business creates jobs where unions kill them.

  • Jesuswillsave
    December 7, 2012 at 11:08 a.m.

    OK no fight if the Congress will just tell him no that would take care of it and there is no fight. He need to plan on it not being raised, spending must come down.

  • RonalFos
    December 7, 2012 at 11:10 a.m.

    Big business is killing more jobs than anything else by shipping our jobs overseas where they can get the work done by poorly paid and abused people. American workers were poorly paid and abused by big corporations until unions stepped in!

  • Populist
    December 7, 2012 at 12:22 p.m.


    Sometimes unions do foolish things and make unreasonable demands, but, for the most part, unions have been a positive influence on working conditions in this country. However, unions cannot change the fact that low skilled jobs are drying up, and that young people better start studying computers or medical technology or something else of value if they want to be employed or self-sufficient. High paying. low skilled jobs are limited to communities with large numbers of highly educated and well compensated individuals. Most Americans need to increase their level of education to fill the high skilled jobs that the new technology demands, or else those jobs will continue to be filled by Chinese and Indian immigrants who are savvy enough to obtain the skills for those jobs.

  • FreeSpiritMan
    December 8, 2012 at 12:04 a.m.

    Packman.....Go to this link to see Healthcare in action in the US.
    cbsnews. com/8301-18560_162-57556670/hospitals-the-cost-of-admission/